As DITA has become more and more popular, demand has increased for tools that can provide high quality PDFs from DITA content. The DITA Open Toolkit provides a basic PDF capability, but nearly any real-world application will require customization.
Leigh White's book, DITA for Print, has become the go-to reference for building a print customization plugin for the DITA Open Toolkit. This second edition covers Open Toolkit, version 2, including customizing the DITA 1.3 troubleshooting topic type, localization strings, bookmarks, and the new back-cover functionality.
DITA for Print is for anyone who wants to learn how to create PDFs using the DITA Open Toolkit without learning everything there is to know about XSL-FO, XSLT, or XPath, or even about the DITA Open Toolkit itself. DITA for Print is written for nonprogrammers, by a non-programmer, and although it is written for people who have a good understanding of the DITA standard, you don't need a technical background to get custom PDFs up and running quickly.
Custom PDF plugin creation:
Organization of the DITA Open Toolkit
Installing the DITA Open Toolkit
Creating your own plugin
DITA Open Toolkit builds:
Setting up the ANT build environment
Setting up a PDF renderer
Setting up fonts
Managing attribute sets, localization variables, and localization strings
Formatting your content:
Page headers and footers
Cover pages (front and back)
Titles, body text, lists, and notes
Task topics, tables, and images
Links, xrefs, and footnotes
Table of Contents, lists of tables and figures, bookmarks, and indexes
Leigh White is a DITA Specialist with IXIASOFT. Starting out as a technical writer and moving into information architecture, she has been working with DITA since 2008, developing workflows, standards, and publishing tools. She has a strong interest in helping small tech pubs groups leverage tools and processes to raise efficiency, increase productivity, and save their sanity.